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Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta presents

The Red Tree


Lennox Theatre


19 October - 28 October 2017

Event Type

Live Event

A piece of music theatre
Based on the book by Shaun Tan 

When the dice is always loaded against you how do you move forward?

Join us for an extraordinary journey to a world of imagination where origami boats take you on an ocean voyage, giant fish host musical interludes, and parades pass you by. This is the story of a young girl living inside her bedroom and how she conquers her fears and anxieties, finally embracing hope and taking control of the world that has always been around her.

The Red Tree is a new work of music theatre. National Theatre of Parramatta has commissioned writer Hilary Bell and songrwriter and composer Greta Gertler Gold to adapt Shaun Tan’s award-winning book, directed by Neil Gooding.

The score fuses pop, classical and traditional musical theatre elements with sound design and digital recording technology in an exciting, contemporary fashion.

Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree won the Patricia Wrightson prize in the NSW Premier’s Book Awards, and was awarded the ‘le Prix Octogones 2003’ prize by the Centre International d’Etudes en Literature de Jeunesse, following its translation into French.

Produced by arrangement with Hachette Australia Pty Ltd.  

Recommended for: Ages 8 – 108

Dates & Times:
Thursday 19 October 10am (School Performance)
Friday 20 October 1pm and 7pm
Saturday 21 October 2pm and 7pm (Opening Night)
Monday 23 October 10am (School Performance)
Tuesday 24 October 10am and 1pm (School Performances)
Wednesday 25 October 10am (School Performance) and 1pm
Thursday 26 October 10am (School Performance)
Friday 27 October 10am (School Performance) and 7pm
Saturday 28 October 2pm and 7pm


Book and Lyrics by
Hilary Bell
Music by
Greta Gertler Gold
Neil Gooding
Set & Costume Design
James Browne
Lighting Design
Verity Hampson


Nicola Bowman
Musical Director
Greta Gertler Gold
Ben Fink
Bonnie Stewart


Video Media Design
Mic Gruchy
Audio Design
David Grigg
Additional Sound Design and Musical Arrangements
Adam D Gold
Musician ‘Wonderful Things’ recording
Barney McAll
Polly Low
Puppetry Consultant
Fiona Gentle
Puppet and Prop Maker
Aesha Henderson
Production Manager
Neil Shotter
Stage Manager
Kirsty Walker
Assistant Stage Manager and Creative Futures
Amanda Sullo
Assistant Stage Manager
Concey Bosco

Additional arrangements, audio engineering and sound design – Adam D Gold

Produced by arrangement with Hachette Australia Pty Ltd
Photo by Jeff Busby
Illustration by Brian Vallesteros

Suitable for Years 5 – 10

From the Program Coordinator: Shaun Tan has become such an integral part of the Australian Literary scene. With iconic bold, clear and moving images the book alone is a work of brilliant theatricality. So when you add a stunning director, live music and Australia’s hottest new theatre company it’s going to make for absolutely SENSATIONAL THEATRE. With messages about isolation, loneliness and hope, the work is an important look at sense of self and responding to change.

Curriculum Links:
Download the full curriculum links for The Red Tree here: The Red Tree Curriculum Links

About the Venue – Lennox Theatre: Seats 213 people and is a large room with quite a high ceiling and with grey concrete walls, black floor and curtains. The seating is tiered and goes 10 rows back, with stair access to all but the first row (wheelchair access being available in the first row). The black allows different sets to become the focus of the space. Access Points: Access points are indicators that let you know aspects of a production or event that may provide groups with a higher level of engagement related to their needs. There are 5 access points relating to aspects of the storytelling of the production that may assist access. The access The Red Tree are:

  • Language: Easy (LE) The text or dialogue used in this production is limited or simple.
  • Music (M) The production has a strong music focus (rather than a focus on language).
  • Visual Cues (VC) This production has strong visual cues giving students a different reference point for comprehension of the narrative or subject matter other than just language.

Specific Access: Find out about our accessibility options by clicking here A social story for this performance will be available soon. Please check back here regularly for updates. In the meantime, please check download a social story on Lennox Theatre, below. Download a social story about Lennox Theatre here: Lennox Theatre Social Story Price: $25 per student & additional teachers


BOOK EARLY! We do our best to accommodate everyone, but shows fill fast. Additional performances are not always possible.


All bookings require a completed Booking Form. Risk assessments and education support materials (where provided) are available online.


Complete online (preferred), fax, email or post your booking form to Riverside Education Fax: 02 9683 3267 Scan and email: Mail: Riverside Education, PO Box 3636, Parramatta, NSW, 2124. N.B. Please do not send any payments with your booking form. Riverside will confirm your booking and then issue a tax invoice for your deposit. Bookings are made in strict order of receipt. Please ensure you have given a valid email address on your booking form as this is our main method of communication.


Riverside will confirm your booking and invoice the school for a non-refundable 25% deposit. Teachers receive complimentary seating on a 20:1 ratio (unless otherwise stipulated). Once you have paid your deposit, your booking is secure and Riverside will issue an invoice for full payment.


Full payment is required 4 weeks prior to the performance date. If we do not receive payment OR proof of your DoE purchase order, we have the right to cancel your booking and you will forfeit your deposit. PUBLIC SCHOOLS – DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (DoE) PAYMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The DoE takes 30 days from an invoice being submitted to payment being received by Riverside, therefore we MUST have full payment OR proof that the purchase order has been submitted to the DoE no later than four weeks prior to the performance date. This is a new system for many public schools so we strongly recommend receiving monies and permission slips at least 7 weeks before the payment is due. This will allow any final changes in numbers (subject to availability). We cannot reduce numbers after payment has been received. ALL OTHER SCHOOLS (INCLUDING INDEPENDENT AND CATHOLIC) Confirmation of final numbers and final balance is required four weeks prior to the performance date. A reduction of numbers is not permitted after this date. An increase of numbers is possible after the final payment day but is subject to availability. Please note, all school bookings made within 4 school weeks of a performance date must be paid in full within 1 week of confirmation and are final. There are no refunds or changes to numbers or dates on these bookings.


Prior to your visit, we will send you detailed information via email to ensure you have a hassle-free excursion. This will include updating you on any possible changes to running times or more detailed information as it emerges from the rehearsal process.


If you have concerns about meeting the terms and conditions, please email or call 02 8839 3308.


Available Dates

October 2017
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Show dates


60 minutes (No interval plus Q&A for schools performances)

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